Since Easter is fast-appraoching I thought you might like a recipe for healthy gluten-free cinnamon rolls. I grew up eating homemade cinnamon rolls nearly every Christmas and Easter morning. The yeasty smell of rising rolls filling every nook and cranny of the house is a memory hard-forgotten. This was probably one of my favorite foods growing up. Luckily I watched and learned how to make cinnamon rolls over the years from my mother.
This recipe uses freshly ground buckwheat flour, which has a mild, light buckwheat-y flavor. The two main wet ingredients used are applesauce and cooked sweet potatoes which provide moisture and sweetness. This recipe doesn't require any xanthan gum, nuts, or seeds. Nor does it require any dairy-free milks. I wanted to keep the glycemic index lower and keep the recipe whole foods-based. I have not figured out how to make it without any starch (I use some tapioca flour), but if anyone does, please let me know.
I created a frosting recipe which reminds me of the Cinnabon frosting. Remember those huge rolls laced with a ton of sugar and fat and who knows what else? I can't even begin to imagine eating one now but this frosting does bring me back, with no ill side effects!
My children love these rolls. In fact, when I make them, the whole batch usually disappears before they cool. I just love knowing that they are eating all of this buckwheat-y goodness! Did you know that buckwheat is a fruit seed and not actually a grain? Though we use it much like other grains. I grind raw buckwheat groats into a fine flour in minutes using my Vita-Mix. You can also use a coffee grinder and do it in batches. 3 cups of buckwheat groats equals 4 cups of flour. You'll need a little extra so be sure to grind enough.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat:
- It is naturally gluten-free.
- Buckwheat maintains blood glucose levels and has been shown to be beneficial for diabetics.
- Research has shown that buckwheat can help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Buckwheat is high in the flavonoid, rutin, which helps to prevent disease through its antioxidant effect.
- Buckwheat is a rich source for magnesium (so are beans and nuts). Magnesium acts as a cofactor for over 300 enzymes in the human body! All reactions that involve ATP (the energy currency of our cells) depend on magnesium. Got magnesium?
Buckwheat Cinnamon Rolls
After following the basic recipe for the dough you can get creative for the filling. Pictured here is just the basic cinnamon and sugar filling but you could do more. You could reduce the fat needed to spread over the dough and use a prune puree instead. I would still add a small amount of oil to that but you decide. You can also process dates and walnuts in the food processor to spread over the rolled dough. Another favorite is a fig puree made from dried mission figs, boiling water, and orange zest. I would still add a little cinnamon and coconut sugar to some of these variations. Get creative, let your kids help, and enjoy!
3 cups+ raw buckwheat flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup Grade B maple syrup
1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 cup softened coconut oil (or butter)
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut sugar or another granulated sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons cinnamon
3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (still warm)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil two 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Place all of the wet ingredients into a blender or vita-mix and blend until very smooth and creamy. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and whisk together. Once it becomes too thick to whisk, use a wooden spoon. Add more flour until the dough forms a ball but is still a little sticky.
Generously flour a work surface using buckwheat flour or tapioca flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour if it is too sticky. The trick here is to add just enough flour to be able to roll out the dough but not too much otherwise the cinnamon rolls become too dense.
Roll out dough using a floured rolling pin into a large rectangle. Spread with softened coconut oil. Don't use melted coconut oil or another oil. This will cause oil to leak out of the dough from all sides which will make it impossible to roll and hold shape. Then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon or your filling of choice.
Begin to roll from the long end down towards you. If your dough is sticking then try coaxing it with a large, thin spatula coated with flour. Once the dough has been rolled out, slice it with a serrated knife, and place the rolls into your oiled pans. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.
To make the frosting, place all ingredients into the blender and blend until super smooth and creamy. Keep scraping the sides down and turn the blender on again to get this smooth consistency. Pour over the rolls as they come out of the oven. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com
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Happy Spring! I love sunshine and fruit tree blossoms ~ it's pure heaven isn't it! ;-)